Can France save the metaverse?

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Can France save the metaverse?

The Metaverse: a briefly popular prehistoric oddity (2022) that promptly perished in the water.

Okay, the virtual gaming platform Roblox is still going strong – but the rest is looking rather lonely at the moment. Data aggregator DappRadar announces that there were fewer than 400 “active users” on Decentraland, another up-and-coming Metaverse platform, in the last 24 hours, what a company that’s reportedly worth over $1 billion , not much seems. Other platforms, including The Sandbox, also saw their user numbers drop.

It’s likely when Facebook’s Mark Zuckerburg (sorry, Meta) wrapped his two arms around the “immersive virtual world” that it became categorically uncool; the moment it became “meh-taverse”.

France is determined to make the virtual world a reality. The government only completed its appeal yesterday public comment about how it should develop its metaverse strategy – for the locals this is the “univers virtuels à la française”. It would like ideas on which technology should be prioritized in funding to “create an alternative to the virtual immersive universes currently being offered by the international giants”. .

Will it be Metaverse or Metamerde? In my opinion, these government-led tech forays are often a bit of a hoot – they produce smoky steampunk contraptions rather than really cool internet stuff.

Still, the companies aren’t doing much better. Very few people stay in virtual worlds these days. In recent months, companies like Meta, Microsoft, Tencent, and Disney have decided to scrap their Metaverse projects. Meta, for example, lost $13.7 billion from its virtual reality lab last year. That is as much money as was invested in all German technology in 2022.

So why shouldn’t the French try when everyone’s making a blockbuster out of their metaverses?

Oh no, not that: an early version of Zuckerburg’s metaverse vision

We have at least a rough sketch of what the French metaverse means could look. France’s President Emmanuel Macron, hoping to cement his reputation as King Tech, last year created his own virtual world in Minecraft, the blocky sandbox game, to promote his re-election. “France must also exist in the metaverse with its language, its heritage, its cities, villages and monuments,” said Macron in an interview last April.

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Visitors to the “Macronverse” were invited to stroll through a rickety town square, visit a handful of cafes or a kebab shop, and gaze at a giant billboard with a photograph of the President. You could also fall into a virtual river and drown.

Macron’s Metaverse avatar compared to British politician Matt Hancock’s avatar. Only one had a hairline correction

So… will the French save the Metaverse?

Actually, I think it’s more that the French don’t feel like visiting their own virtual world.

Didn’t we recently see all the French restaurant-goers undeterred a bit by the violent protests in the streets of Paris (“It’s ok…food”)? The Metaverse is just another horror show to ignore.

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